Will we be able to fully respec companions?

Hi everyone, looking forward to WotR but I am wondering whether the final build will let us fully respec companions including their stats and first level as is possible in DOS2? If not, then I am hoping we will at least be able to choose their first level from a curated list, as is possible in Deadfire where for example you can pick whether Eder began life as a fighter or as a rogue?

I often found that Kingmaker’s companions had the wrong stats/levels to be a good fit for my party and think it should be up to the player, not the devs, whether fully respeccing joinable NPCs would “break lore/immersion.”

I’m fully aware that the respec mod will likely let me do this out-of-game so I am not worried it will be impossible, I would just like Owlcat to support it in-game if possible. Thanks!

Based on the first game, and everything that I’m hearing about the second, almost certainly not. Some of the abilities from their set classes are integral to their storylines.

This is especially true for things like specific weapons (Amiri), pets (Ekundayo), or abilities (WotR Oracle curse/mystery).

I doubt it. I’m sure a mod will quickly address this though. Although not optimal, the companions in WOTR are quite well-built.

1 Like

I respectfully disagree that it should be up to the player, and not the devs.

This game was created to invoke the pen & paper game feeling as much as possible. If you think of the devs like a GM at your table, they’ve presented you with a campaign story (the game), and a set of completely optional companion NPCs who also have their own lives and stories.

I think that they provide an extreme amount of freedom to the player after that (as any good GM should), and have increased that freedom with official mod support if you disagree with that. So there are 2 things.
-Artistic vision, which they are 100% justified in maintaining to this already small degree.
-Support, which means that they would have to test anything that they implemented in the game. So, in a cutscene where Ekundayo walks over and pets his dog, but he’s not a ranger, so the dog doesn’t exist? Well strap in for another month(s) of adjustments and testing for every Ekun cutscene to make sure that it doesn’t crash. And now we’ve given an ability that alters there Channel Energy ability, but they don’t have one, crash welp, there’s another month figuring that one out.

6 Likes

IMHO, a full respec would indeed go against the companion’s personal history (as said just before), which is revealed during the course of the game, and sometimes triggers actions or quests. Solasta does that at the extreme since the player can create the whole party, but I think it will prevent them from offering this nice, personal touch to the companions. They offer an alternative way with personal traits that can drive the dialogs, but those dialogs will remain relatively anonymous since they can’t predict important characteristics such as the class, the race or the background.

In tabletop games - or in life in general, you can’t respec other people (that would be something! :smiley:). You have to deal with that, as you have to deal with specific rules, it’s part of the fun and of the tactical challenge in combat. This is even more true for a small respec, then it just requires a small adaptation to overcome the “imperfection”.

Furthermore, we can have 6 members in a party, there are multiple choices and we can change anytime between missions (or even during missions). That more than compensates any imperfection by offering redundancy.

@Grifta and @redglyph: If you don’t like a respec festure, don’t use it. There’s really no reason why players who want to respec should be denied the opportunity to do so. Nor is there any reason why people should campaign to have this tool denied to players who want to use it. Giving people the option allows each player to play the game as he or she wants and makes the game more fun for more players. That should be the ultimate goal and is smart business.

Adding official respec requires additional testing and leads to story beats that make no sense with characters whose stats and class do not at all match with what the story tells us about the character. If story doesn’t matter much to you, that’s fine, it’s how you play the game. However, some players really want the story of the characters to match their stats and class - and Owlcat seems to develop their games that way as well. Not every game can be designed to make every player happy, and Owlcat has every right to focus on telling interesting stories with mechanics instead of letting players build their own party.

2 Likes

Again, I disagree that it would be a smart business idea. They already have re-specing to the point just before it would break the game, and officially supporting modding which will allow the community to push it beyond that.

As a couple people mentioned, everything takes time and money, and there is a finite amount of both for any project.

@Raikan what would you recommend that they remove so that they can add this as a stable, supported feature?

2 Likes

This is not the case. Necessity is the mother of invention and invention is fun.

That said some companion builds like Greybor need some work.

@Raikan I’m not saying I don’t like it (I suppose you meant “feature” and not “festure”). I’m saying it would break the game as it is now, and if one would like to have this ability, something has to be adapted.

I’m never against additional features when they’re optional, of course :slight_smile:

You take the view that the companions are NPCs, which is fine. Other players may take the view that the companions are part of the player’s party. Really, both views are correct and valid as both versions are active at the same time.

The NPC part remains in play through their personalities, dialogue and background/personal quests, which a player only has limited control, but the mechanical and management aspects are otherwise approaching maximal control by the player. As such, it makes a lot of sense that the player can decide for him or herself whether the starting configuration is what he feels is best, or if he’d prefer to leave it as the developers provided. The player can therefore make the companion fit better into their vision of the character without terribly damaging the character’s place in the universe, NPC-wise. Even if a player did manage to mangle the NPC, story vs. mechanics, why should it matter if that’s what interests the player?

Why not allow a player to have the option, after all? The option to play it “as the devs envisioned” is always there to engage. The reverse is only true if the devs don’t lock their vision as the only one possible.

@Anarchium it sounds like we agree on most points here, or at least understand the points here that are purely preference (dev’s vision).

I’m completely confident that the community with have a full respec mod available within a few days of release. Then anyone can use that to their heart’s content, but won’t waste the dev’s time if it explodes something later on.

1 Like

Because the actual design of P:K made use of the different companion builds to suit them for different chapters that fit them thematically. The whole idea of a set party is an imposition some players brought with them in their own assumptions (largely from previous games like D:OS or Icewind Dale) that was never part of Owlcat’s design.

Design itself is a foreclosure of options beginning from the infinite.

3 Likes

Amiri and Seelah are iconic characters, I do not think Paizo would allow change.

Companions in WotR have their backstory written by their class, and in some cases being at least 1 level of their starting class is written into their quest(Camelia, Woljif Jefto), or their quests are revolving around being that class (Daeran, Regill).

5 Likes

I think these four could stand full respec, withouth breaking story.
Arue, Lann, Wendu - these could theoreticly be any class that can be build into archer
Greybore - -full martial, anything as long as he stays bounty hunter
They are martial characters so quests so far and backstories do not rely on them spellcasting, no god, and no class abilities.

Aru’s an entirely new archetype created just for her, and Lann’s distinguishing feature is his L since he’s not really sure about the whole G vs E thing, with Monk being the epitome of L and him getting the very unique Zen Archer class since he learned to used a bow in the dark Underneath. Greybor’s class is perfect but evidently the person who did his build doesn’t understand how Weapon Finesse works. I’d like to see him set up for Assassin but I guess his storyline isn’t Evil enough. Maybe they could come up with a Neutral Assassin variant for him.

You guys are trying to play Icewind Dale. Play Wrath of the Righteous. You might even like it.

2 Likes

I hope they add full respec as a trap that will destroy their PC. People who use respec are a threat to the RPG genre because they want everything to be dumb simple and hate any form of consequence in their video games.

1 Like

There are some people like that, but most people are just used to “the customer is always right” and haven’t put much thought into it. No need to insult anybody but also no need to compromise your vision either after the success of P:K.

I’d recommend that they buy the respec mod and implement it. Honestly, I suspect the coding would be extremely simple because they already have functionality for creating a player character and creating a mercenary. Respecting a character is effectively creating a PC or mercenary, assigning the character XXXX experience, and not changing the portrait. That should be extremely simple to code.

1 Like

I misread your post then. Sorry.